PE News (Pentecostal Evangel of the Assemblies of God) has a news article that says that Pennsylvania Teen Challenge has opened its’ first detox center in Rehrersburg. This is a new step for the ministry to offer medically staff detox from drugs for people that want to change their life.
According to Teen Challenge, there is over 500,000 people die every year of drug overdose and in Pennsylania, it has climbed to over 5,000 in 2016. It is what the Teen Challenge director Kris McFadden called ” an epidemic.”
While Teen Challenge has been very effective on long term transformation of young men and women, the lacking area was the immediate help of detoxing from drugs. This facility will now change that problem in this area. I expect that this will become a model for many other locations across America as well.
Why a Teen Challenge Detox Center matters
Basically, Teen Challenge has been a hospital floor for stable patients without an emergency room to care for the people that are fresh off the streets. As you can see, this is a major area of need. This will help the people that are not yet trapped in the legal systems of the state.
Detox allows people to taper off drugs they’re addicted to and through medication, reduce the impact of withdrawals and stabilize them physically….Without a detox center and getting that opportunity for additional help, many of those struggling with extreme drug addictions today are going to face an overdose and death ‘tomorrow’ — and we will have lost that opportunity to share Christ with them.
This might be the most important ministry that the Assemblies of God have in the coming years. As the drug problem in America grows, the need for help in the first 24 to 96 hours will also grow. This will save many lives in physical and spiritual terms.
“I’m not going to be able to share the gospel with a corpse…You first have to meet their basic need [detox], much like providing food and water to a person who is starving; once they’re basic needs are met, then they’re capable of being receptive to the gospel.” (Joel Jakubowski)
Holostic Ministry is the way forward
One thing I learned from visiting the Los Angeles Dream Center that is ran by Matthew Barnett is that having a holistic approach to ministry is what is the most effective. This is true in the inner city of Los Angeles and it is true in every area of the country.
It is a lot easier to focus on spiritual things when you are trying to believe for your next meal. The same is true for someone on drugs. It is easier to get free if you know someone is there caring for you that first few critical hours.
I think this is great and I have many friends that work for Teen Challenge and I also know many that have came through the program that went on to be great pastors. In fact, I was led to Christ by Steve Hill, a Teen Challenge graduate in the Brownsville Revival.